November 25th, 2008
02:54 PM ET
9 years ago

McCain says Palin has a 'very bright future' as a GOP leader

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="McCain confirmed Tuesday he’s planning to run for a fifth Senate term in 2010."](CNN) - Former GOP presidential candidate John McCain denied Tuesday that political considerations - a desire to appeal to Clinton supporters - played a role in his selection of running mate Sarah Palin, calling her “an energizing factor” and telling reporters the Alaska governor has a “very bright future in a leadership position in the Republican Party.”

"She did a great job of energizing our base. I'm very proud of her,” he said at a press conference in Phoenix, his first since losing to Barack Obama three weeks ago. “It's one of the great pleasures I've had to get to know her and her family, and I think she has a very bright future in a leadership position in the Republican Party.

"....I knew that she would be an energizing factor, because she energized me," he added. "Our base, and most Americans, viewed Governor Palin as a breath of fresh air."

Taking a look back at the presidential contest, he said his campaign was dealt a fatal blow when public focus shifted from foreign policy to the faltering economy. “The American people - and I respect that decision, I don’t in any way criticize it – [decided] that the economy was of vital importance. And it is,” he said.

He also told reporters: “We worked hard, and we inspired a lot of people, Sarah Palin and I. I think we look back with pride."

The Arizona senator said that he’s planning to run for re-election in two years, and that an official announcement would come “at an appropriate time.” He praised the president-elect for his cabinet picks so far, especially his reported selection of Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano – long mentioned as a likely 2010 Senate rival - as Secretary of Homeland Security.

Multiple sources have told CNN that Napolitano is Obama’s top choice for that post.

"I have already talked with her, and look forward to moving her nomination as quickly as possible through the United States Senate," said McCain. He said he is also planning trips in the near future to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Even with his stiffest competition is reportedly taking a pass, McCain’s home state has been trending blue - he beat Barack Obama by just 9 points - and the four-term senator told reporters Tuesday he’s expecting a “tough race.”

Filed under: Arizona • John McCain • Sarah Palin
soundoff (801 Responses)
  1. Cruzan Obama Mama

    BTW, who makes up the base that they claim she is energizing? For years the Repubs have tried to move away from the image of racist, uneducated, christian motivated people that populated the party. Is that the base now? I saw a lot of well qualified & educated people on TV representing the Repubs and yet they were not highlighted or encouraged to talk. Joe the ignorant plumber on the other hand became the poster child for the campaign. Isn't this moving the party backwards instead of forward? Just a question.

    Hey I'm a Dem, but I'm getting confused here.

    November 25, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  2. ueheinz

    The election is over senator McCain. Do her a favor: throw her under the bus (together with Phil Grahams and Karl Rove)!

    November 25, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  3. KRO

    McCain is really bucking to be the 'nice' guy in the Republican Party....Palin as the leader? You've GOT to be kidding me. The woman is just not bright .... a clear example of someone who got lucky to be in the position that she's in. There are much more qualified, intellectually-exceptional people in the GOP to choose from ..... and I'm a Democrat.

    November 25, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  4. Marnie

    Sigh. Just when I think the news about Palin has stopped, it rears its ugly head again.

    What ever happened to the Republican Party being about wisdom, intelligence and economy? Now it just seems to represent the Christies and dumb hicks–people you supposedly want to have a beer with? If this party gets behind Palin for ANY future political office, they have learned nothing from the past election. This is very scary.

    November 25, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  5. NotNowMookie

    McCain still is oblivious. Does he understand that he lost the election? Is he too proud to admit that Palin only energized the uneducated underemployed gun-totin' barrel-bottom scum of America? If McCain was energized by this half-wit then perhaps he is not fit for Senate office.

    November 25, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  6. K.B. Denver, Colorado

    I could learn to like her if she would moderate her views, Believing in science is a good start also she could stand to show humility and intellectual curiosity.

    That being said everyone's entitled to there believes and that includes Sarah Palin. I just wish people like her would acknowledge that legislating the bible is bad idea because not every American is of Christan faith and to force the laws of one faith on those of another is cruel and unjust. She and others like her need to remember they share this country, no this planet with people of other faiths and even those without and that is freedom.

    November 25, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  7. Dee

    WHO CARES !!!!! Mc Same is a LOSER !!!!!!!!!!

    November 25, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  8. Jo

    Yeah please have her run in 2012. We need to finish of the GOP once and for all!

    November 25, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  9. Washington Observer

    To all the liberal Democratic hate mongers, what goes around comes around. The sub prime mess, the root cause of the current financial crisis, is the brainchild of the Democrats in trying to get otherwise unqualified and non credit worthy people into home ownership. The protectionist policies surrounding Fannie Mae can be traced to the three individuals in DC who received the most in campaign money from Fannie Mae over the past two years:

    1. Barney Frank – MA – House Chair of Finance Committee
    2. Chris Dodd – CT Senate Chair of Finance Committee
    3. Barack Obama (humm, now why would a junior senator get so much money from Fannie Mae)?

    November 25, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  10. C W

    "At night a candle's brighter than the sun." The GOP is pitch-dark right now, so someone like Palin, who stirs up their fearful, ignorant base seems like better than nothing!


    November 25, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  11. Annette

    Stop playing McCain. If you really believe that, then you were not ready to be President.

    November 25, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  12. Bob in Dallas

    Once is enough! Two wrongs have never made a right. She had zero credentials when selected and bringing her back for another round is really testing our sense of humor. It was a terrible choice and a mistake from the outset. Let her do her "thing" in Alaska.

    November 25, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  13. chris

    Fred in SC – Obama is very, very, shady…. he might not even be legally eligible to run for or hold the office of President of the United States. Keep your eye on that one!

    Fred are you stupid, or do you really believe this crap you are spewing. You wonder why people think the south is full of un educated Hicks.

    November 25, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  14. scripter

    Palin, you're the weakest link...goodbye!

    November 25, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  15. Holly

    I think it's telling that even McCain admits that when voters actually consider the issues that matter most to their own lives–the economy–they pick Democrats. Maybe that says something about the priorities of the Republican party? It's almost like he saying, "If only we had kept voters focused on issues other than their jobs, houses, and savings accounts, we would have won."

    November 25, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  16. Dianne

    This is laughable....Do you think in your wildest dreams Palin could handle 2 wars, a sinking economy, a huge deficit.She is simply not bright enough and if Republicans pin her as a star they are more out of touch than anyone can imagine... she is a joke......!!!!,, a liar, doesn't even know what newspapers she reads, avoided the press.......give me a break!

    November 25, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  17. Brett

    Wow, this is pathetic and sad to read most of your hateful comments. The election is over. Why do most of you insist on being so negative to a woman who was ASKED to run for vice president. No matter who you are for, enough is enough.

    November 25, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  18. Andy

    Keep on bashing Palin you open-minded bunch! Hey, BTW, notice how the Obama promises are falling one by one, day by day? Guess bought yourself more of the same....a Chicago Politician who is bringing in all the ex-Clinton's (who were hated by the Obama crowd). You are getting your change....soon you will forget Palin and realize you bought the same old BS! Good work Heroes!

    November 25, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  19. C W

    If the standard-bearer of your party is 72 and obviously way past his prime, all it takes is being younger to be a "breath of fresh air." Pretty low standards, indeed!

    November 25, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  20. Independent In NY

    Blame it on the economy or Sarah Palin, but 700 million in private contributions is a movement, and there wasn't anything McCain could do to win this election.

    It still troubles me to see the hateful posts in this room, we really need to pull together if this country is to survive the next few months. Hate Obama if you must, but he really does represent the majority of Americans by 7 million votes...........

    November 25, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  21. You Betcha!

    Very bright future? John the recent past shows she helped you lose a winnable election. I think that maybe she is all the GOP has to offer ,maybe I have been missing the Palin push reasoning ..If all you have in your toolbox is a hammer everything begins to look like a nail.

    November 25, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  22. faye moghtader

    if gop has not yet learned his lessons i do not know when they will .they cannot win an election only with their base.who are advising the gop leaders.can they not think.palin was a disaster.

    November 25, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  23. Obama--only an interim President--

    Obama will not be able to solve the economic crisis and thus will only be a one term President-

    Sarah Palin will run in 2012 and the drapes shall be changed in the Oval office-

    November 25, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  24. E in Boston

    Was Palin energizing the party base when she spent 150K donation money on makeup, clothing, luis vuitton bag for her and her family?

    Was she energizing the base when the only things she talked about during her campaign were false accusations about Obama?

    Was she energizing the party when she displayed total ignorance about constituion, domestic / foreign policies, and her lack of education?

    November 25, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  25. Jeanne H.

    "Most americans" consider her a breath of fresh air???? Oh Pllllleeaase!!!! I think McCain should really be put in a rest home now. So he can spend the rest of his days dreaming about how good a choice of running mate he's made. He just can't admit failure and mistakes... soooo much like George Bush!!!!

    November 25, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
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